New Halal Travel Site: GoHalalTours.com
Finally, I launched the first version of GoHalalTours.com. I will be working with VMT to provide halal tours in Vietnam and Cambodia. It is just version 1 of the travel site, I hope to launch version 2 in about 6-8 months, inshallah.
I relaunched GoHalalVietnam! as a blog focusing on being halal in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam. This site will replace this page in the next couple months as the main source for halal news and updates here in Vietnam. Please bookmark this site at:
SaigonNezumi will still add restaurants on the below lists that serve both halal cuisines and alcohol since many visitors to these restaurants tend to be non-Muslims.
Halal in Vietnam
In the last couple years, there has been an increase of halal restaurants in Saigon based on Indian and Malaysian cuisines. Many are located in District 1 but there are small good Halal restaurants near my house in the Phu Nhuan District. My goal is to visit each of the halal restaurants and blog about them.
Warning on impersonating Muslims at fake halal restaurants
Several restaurants are forcing their Vietnamese staff to impersonate as Muslims including making girls cover their heads. I confronted one restaurant already in District 5 about this, two restaurants in District 1 are doing this now. If you enter a restaurant and see most of the female staff covering their heads, they are NOT Muslims. Read more here -> Halal Restaurant Warnings: Fake Halal Restaurants.
In comparison, most of the restaurants run by Cham Muslims in Vietnam DO NOT cover their heads (Vietnam Delights is an exemption). Please be wary about this.
Warning on Halal Certificates
In Vietnam, the halal certificate and halal logo can be bought from local authorities. Many halal certified food items in Vietnam have not been tested for their halal-ness. If the halal label is on any Vietnamese food item, assume it is not halal. Instead, look for the Made in Malaysia halal certificates on food items to be safe. Some restaurants within the mosques/masjids will serve Vietnam food items, i.e. hot sauce, that say halal but are not.
Many restaurants in HCMC alone will have a halal certificate AND a Muslim chef but unless listed below, the restaurant cannot be confirmed as halal. The halal certifying boards in Vietnam also allow restaurants they certify to serve alcohol so be forewarned.
Some Muslims also visit non-halal restaurants in both HCMC and My Tho claiming they are halal. Those restaurants are NOT halal unless they have been mentioned on this site (meaning several Muslims confirmed they were halal).
Just because you see Muslims eating in a restaurant does not mean it is halal…
Wet towels are common in Vietnam. Just be aware, most contain alcohol. It is best to bring your own wet towels are just use napkins/tissues if this is a sensitive issue for you.
Vietnamese Tour Agencies
Be forewarned, there are NO halal tours in Vietnam. Vietnamese tour agencies will take Muslims to restaurants that state they are a halal. Unless they are on the list below, use extreme caution. Halal is just another means to make money here. Tour Guides will say anything to earn a commission so again, be aware of this. Several tour agency owners will say they are a Muslim “convert” even though they are not a Muslim. Just be forewarned.
Below is a short list of tour agencies claiming to offer “halal” tours that you should be warned about:
- MuslimTravelVietnam.com – This so-called “Muslim” tour operator copied my content, including photos, from both my websites focusing on halal food and then accused me of slander. You are just Mu$lims to them.
- Vietnam Tour Co., Ltd – The owners of the above website.
- HalalFoodinVietnam.com (Hanoi) – owner identifies himself as a Muslim convert. He copied portions of my halal website and refused to remove it even though he admitted it was my content. There is only one confirmed halal restaurant in Hanoi at a hotel, most Muslims in Hanoi butcher their own halal meat so it is impossible, and not legal, for restaurants to have halal meat in Hanoi.
- Hi-Class Travels (same owner as above)
- Any Vietnamese-owned travel agency offering halal tours – many of these companies negotiate with restaurants to replace halal meats with non-halal meat so they can earn higher revenue. This is a common practice in Vietnam.
Please Support Local Muslim businesses in Vietnam and only book with Muslim tour groups.
Below is a short list of safe halal restaurants in Saigon. I confirmed with several other local Muslims on whether the restaurants below are halal or not. We kept the list small making easier for Muslims to choose the restaurant. At least 16 of the halal restaurants are owned by Muslims.
Hanafi Muslims: All of the halal restaurants below serve crab, prawns and seafood, except for Berrus.
Updated on March 30, 2014:
Halal Food in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
The following restaurants can be confirmed halal, they all get their halal meat from the Amine Halal Meat Supplier (District 7), Hanafi Halal Meat Supplier (Phu Nhuan District) or from Haji Chay Mohamad from the District 8 masjid. If a restaurant is not on this list, it means I cannot confirm where they get their halal meat.
Be sure to check below where the restaurants listed are halal or not.
None of the restaurants below serves alcohol unless stated.
- Baba’s Kitchen (serves alcohol) – 164 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1 – Run by my friend, Robin, a Catholic Indian. Registered owner in Muslim and main supplier of halal meat to many of the real halal restaurants in Saigon. They have a Muslim chef and waiter as well, the food is good, a little spicy, but definitely will be one of your favorite Indian restaurants in Saigon. It is one of the most popular restaurants in Saigon of tourists and Expats alike.
- Basiron – District 1 (near Ben Thanh Market on Nguyen An Ninh street) – Offers great halal pho.
- Citarasa Malaysian Restaurant – District 1 – Offers halal Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines. Same owner at Punjabi Indian Restaurant (see below).
- Halal@Saigon – 31 Dong Du, District 1 – well-known halal restaurant wholly-owned and run by Muslims. A great restaurant to visit for travelers and locals alike. Ask the managers for their recommendations if you are new to Halal@Saigon. If you are looking for budget prices, give them a call or email before visiting Vietnam. Also Warung 1 Malaysia below if you want lower priced alternatives in District 1.
- Halal Kitchen – 96B Nam Khia Khoi Nghia, District 1 (located next to several Muslim shops) – This restaurant’s chef is well known among the local Muslim community. He has worked in many of the halal restaurants in the city.
- Pho Muslim – District 1 (Behind the Nancy Mosque) – Another favorite for local and visiting Muslims a like. In the mornings you can have halal pho, in the evenings halal bun bo hue. The small restaurant is in an alleyway in the Muslim part of District 1. Prices are very affordable for budget travelers.
- Punjabi Indian Restaurant – 175/16 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1 – Owner is the sister of the Indian Jamia Mosque’s imam in District 1.
- Restaurant D’Nonya Penang – 56 Dong Du street ,District 1 – In the past this was a good halal restaurant but when the manager left, the quality went down.
- SaigonTacos.com – http://www.saigontacos.com – offers halal Mexican food. Visit the website to order.
- Salima – 22 Nguyen An Nninh, (1st floor inside An Tam Hotel) , District 1 – Family run business aiming to provide the halal restaurant experience in Saigon.
- The Daun – 305 Ly Tu Trong, District 1 – Great halal restaurant managed by a Singaporean Muslim,
- Vietnam Delights – Moving to Phu My Hung.
- VN.Halal Restaurant – 14 Pham Hong Thai, P. Ben Thanh, District 1 – Poor service, very pricey. Not worth a visit but still halal.
- Warung 1 Malaysia Restaurant – 47 Nguyen An Ninh, District 1 – Former owner as Halal Saigon, lower end halal Malaysian food. One of my new favorites.
- Baba’s Kitchen – Coming soon to District 2.
- Quan An 64 – 641 Nguyen Trai, District 5 (At the Cholon Mosque) – another halal favorite offering Vietnamese and Malaysian food. I love the curry rice dishes there.
- Berru Turkish Coffee & Restaurant Sc3-1 My Khang, Nguyen Luong Bang. Q7 – Great halal Turkish food.
- Zaiqa Restaurant 009 My Hoang, Nguyen Van Linh Street – Phu My Hung Dist.7 – Halal Indian food.
- Kedai Makanan Halal Idriss – 12N Nguyen Thi Tan, P.3, District 8 – serves halal Vietnamese and Cham cuisine in more of a Vietnamese restaurant environment. Worth the visit if you have the time. Very pleasant family runs this restaurant.
- Kedai Shamsudin – 445 Le Hong Phong, District 10 – a favorite of many visiting and local Muslims offering some of the best halal food in the city. They server Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines.
Phu Nhuan District
- Kedai Makan Melayu Champa – 111/33 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan District (after bridge, turn right at market and look for alleyway on left) – A great halal restaurant that serves halal Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines. A little hard to find but worth it. The Muslim chef caters for many hotels in the city. You will meet many local Cham Muslims in this area.
- Sara Halal Food – 67 Dang Van Ngu, Phu Nhuan District – Serves halal Cham cuisine. I used to frequent this restaurant 3-4 times per week when I lived nearby. Come after 5 pm. The owner and cook are Muslims. The chicken fried rice dishes are my favorite dishes there. Very affordable for budget travelers.
- Satayhouse Malaysia – 307/25 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan District – Malaysian owner and cook serving some of the best satay and nasi goreng in the city. One of the most frequented restaurants by local Malays. The chef is well known among the Muslim community. I recommend coming around lunchtime when most of the food is fresh.
Tan Binh District
- Ali Baba Restaurant – 43 Lam Son, Tan Binh District (head towards the airport) – Offers halal doner kebab. Restaurant is run by Expat Muslims. All food confirmed halal. Best priced doner kebabs in the city. See initial notice of opening here.
- Lion City Restaurant (Only Second Floor is Halal) – 98 Le Lai Street, District 1 – Owner ensures strict halalness of his restaurant, he imports all of his halal meat. Definitely more pricier then many other halal restaurants.
- Banana Leaf Restaurant – 57 Vo Van Tan, District 3 – Serves halal Malaysian, Singaporean and Vietnamese food. It is one of my new favorite restaurants. I love the red curry dish. The manager and staff are very friendly.
- RedHouse Nga Do (District 3) – 79 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, District 3 – Only second floor is halal, contact restaurant in advance to ensure it will be halal.
Tan Binh District
- RedHouse Nga Do (Tan Binh District) – 15B Tra Khuc, Tan Binh District – This location is 100% halal often frequented by Muslim tour groups.
- Mumtaz Indian Restaurant – 226 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1 – Run by the same family as Baba’s Kitchen. Another favorite of tourists.
Halal Food in Hanoi
I can only confirm two halal restaurants that do not serve alcohol in Hanoi. It is very difficult to get any halal meat in Hanoi despite the prevalence of the usage of halal with restaurants there. Turkish muslims butcher their own meat in Hanoi. There is currently no imam in Hanoi so if restaurants tell you that they get their halal meat from him, they are lying. I will remove this when a new one returns.
- Melia Hanoi Hotel Restaurant – 44B Ly Thuong Kiet Street – This restaurant was confirmed halal by the Turkish muslim community in Hanoi. Prices may be high for those traveling on a budget.
- Nisa Restaurant – No. 32 Hang Tre St., Hoan Kiem District – Owned by a Muslim, Nisa serves halal Malaysian cuisine in Hanoi. This restaurant was confirmed halal by the Muslim owner of Halal@Saigon.
Halal Food in Danang
- Mumtaz Indian Restaurant– 231 Tran Phu Street (serves alcohol) – Same owners as the Mumtaz restaurant in Saigon. The halal meat is shipped from Saigon.
For catering in Danang, there is an American chef who has four years experience cooking halal cuisines in Dubai. He imports all of his halal meat in Danang. If you are interested, let me know.